Look, I’m all for more decentralized solutions to health care, but the government simply needs to play a role in setting the rules. Rick Ungar provides at least one good reason why that is.
Ian Pearl is a 37 year old victim of muscular dystrophy, confined to a wheel chair and only able to breathe with the assistance of the tube in his throat connecting him to his ventilator.
With all of the obvious challenges in Ian’s life, he’s been fortunate. Thanks to a small business health insurance policy purchased by Mr. Pearl’s father from Guardian Life Insurance Co., Ian’s medical expenses – which run about $1 million annually -have been covered by his policy.
But Ian’s luck appears to have run out.
Barred from discriminating against individuals who submit large claims for payment, Guardian has opted to simply cancel the lines of insurance that provide the coverage Ian needs in all the various states where they do business – all just to avoid paying for Ian’s care.
But wait, there’s more….
Even if the system relies entirely on competitive, for-profit insurers, there should be rules against this sort of thing, and if anything comes of this current health reform process, I hope it’s the inability for insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and to relinquish coverage based on technicalities, or using dirty tricks like this to save a buck.
The status quo isn’t right or fair or even civilized. We can do better.